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Main Menu -> SALTS -> 2010 SALTS Summer Programme -> 2010 Trip 5 - Pacific Swift

2010 Trip 5 - Pacific Swift

Log of Pacific Swift

August 26th 2010 @ 18:30
49°28'18.84 N 126°14'16.80 W

Ship's Log:
All hands boarded the Pacific Swift by 1400 in Ucluelet Harbour
yesterday, spirits were high and an easy comradeship between the
trainees was already developing. Lines were slipped under sunny skies
and we were underway by 1600. Not long after exiting the harbour the fog
enveloped us as we entered the open Pacific and it´s relatively calm
swell. We decided to push north against the prevailing NW winds to
explore the wild beauty offered up the coast. The fog cleared just in
time to enjoy a radiant sunset. Waves crashed over the bows sending a
rainbow-hued shower high in the air while we motored past long beach.
While strains of singing drifted over the deck the sun was quickly
replaced by a brilliant moon which helped to guide us into Clayquot
Sound. The seas and wind calmed to a faint memory as we entered the
narrow channels of the sound. Steep peaks were silhouetted against the
silvery light while the multitude of stars gazed down to be reflected on
the glassy sea.  Our anchor found bottom around midnight in Hecate Bay
which boasts a view into the heart of the Sound. All slept well in the
gentle anchorage and awoke to the sun shining and illuminating the puffs
of cloud that clung to the mountain tops like teased cotton.  We
continued to work north today taking the protected route behind Flores
Island. We found a favourable breeze mid-morning and we wasted no time
in setting the main, fore, staysail and jib, bearing off to make a brisk
9.5 knots. Everyone was excited to set sail and feel the ship surging
along in her natural element. We took the opportunity today to get some
lessons done in the calmer waters inside and everyone seems to be taking
well to the lessons and challenges presented to them. Today we have
enjoyed seeing sea otters, porpoises, eagles and a feeding humpback. We
are now anchored in Pretty Girl Cove, it is very wild with no sign of
human interference. We set off on an expotition to the waterfalls and
pools that lay hidden deep in the temperate rain forest. It was a nice
hike through ancient cedars rooted amongst dense salal and bright ferns.
The falls were warm and nestled in a lush green grotto that opens
suddenly from the thick forest. This evening we will rest at anchor and
enjoy the regular evening programme of games and singing.


Observations:
overcast, 17 C, rain showers,anchored
August 27th 2010 @ 18:30
49°45'3.24 N 126°31'1.20 W

Ship's Log:
Anchor was weighed at 0800 and we bid farewell to the tranquil
waters of Pretty Girl Cove to head further north. All day we have been
weaving in and out of rain showers, creating a confusion of wardrobes to
try and suit the west coast´s fickle moods. We motored out to the open
seas and everyone felt much better in the swells than they did
previously. After lunch we set sail at the entrance to historic Nootka
Sound. Ghosting gently into the sound we were reminded of Capt. Cook´s
first land fall at Resolution Cove. As we passed the unremarkable yet
significant anchorage we had a brief ceremony complete with a rippling
canon salute to the long empty shores steadfastly guarded by spruce and
cedar. We have seen several humpbacks today. Two accompanied us out of
Clayquot Sound and one unexpectantly surfaced very close by to welcome
us into Nootka. Several porpoises darted past and otters were seen to
curiously observe us while they took pause from their floating meals.We
have settled at the head of Hisnit Inlet for the night. Steeply rising
hills encompass us and a rainbow competes with corpuscular rays over the
river we seek to explore after dinner. Everyone is getting along very
well and instruments and talents are slowly emerging, much to the
delight of all aboard.


Observations:
partially cloudy, 17 C, sunny breaks, showers, rainbows, anchored
August 28th 2010 @ 16:30
49°28'16.32 N 126°25'33.60 W

Ship's Log:
Last night´s adventure was a great success, ending under a twinkling
canopy of stars and moon bathed hillsides. We were up and underway at
0800 again today to begin our journey south towards Victoria. It was a
clear sunny morning, affording excellent views of the mountainous sound
and humpbacks lazily foraging at the surface. Two black bears were also
spotted, tumbling rocks in search of their breakfast on the beach while
eagles swooped overhead.  Exiting Nootka Sound we picked up the offshore
breeze and set courses and square topsail to bear away before the
building NW. Spirits soared as the canvas glowed in the mid-morning sun
lifting us to speeds in excess of 9 knots while we surged down the face
of the rolling sea. Rounding Hesquiat Peninsula the wind drew abeam and
we hoisted the main, fore, staysail and jib. There was an exciting
flurry of activity to hoist, douse, sheet and trim a multitude of canvas
on the sharply heeling deck as we raced around into Hesquiat Harbour. It
was excellent sail training and all hands acquitted themselves superbly,
culminating in the teamwork of anchoring the ship under sail deep in the
harbour. The trainees are starting to open up to each other and the
sense of community is growing noticeably day by day.


Observations:
sunny, 20 C, anchored
August 29th 2010 @ 18:30
49°21'47.16 N 126°16'1.20 W

Ship's Log:
After breakfast the dories put ashore in the dissipating fog, met on
the beach by Peter who is the caretaker of Cougar Annie´s Garden. The
garden is an old homestead that was carved out of the tenacious rain
forest in 1915. We were taken on a tour and hike through the property
winding our way along a board walk crafted of hand-split cedar. The
forest is spectacular, boasting enormous and ancient cedars that protect
the gentler climate of the garden inland. After an amazing experience of
this rugged coast as it was and is, we concluded our annual visit by
moving several hundred firewood logs to help out Peter in exchange for
his hospitality. The dories bumped back to the Swift in the building SE
for lunch before weighing anchor for Hot Springs Cove. We are anchored
in the snug cove and after dinner dishes we will push off again for
another beautiful boardwalk through the forest. This time the walk will
end at the edge of the sea where natural hotspings tumble and burble
their way through small pools nestled between rocky cliffs. It is a
treat to sooth our sea-weary bones in the gently flowing hot water while
watching the sun set over the Pacific.


Observations:
partially cloudy, 16 C, anchored
August 30th 2010 @ 18:30
49°2'0.96 N 125°20'38.40 W

Ship's Log:
Well satisfied after a long soak in the hot springs, followed by a
phosphorescent dory ride and hot mug up treats, a deep slumber was
enjoyed by all hands.  The anchor rode was rumbling through the hawse by
0700 this morning and we were underway and slipping past the steaming
springs to head for the open Pacific that resembled a mill pond. The sun
was shining brightly and there wasn´t a wisp of fog while we motored
south towards Barkley Sound. While we waited for the promised NW we
watched countless humpbacks surface all around, blowing and rolling
happily under the lazy sun. Fore watch came on duty at 1200 and brought
the wind with them, courses and squaretop were hoisted with vigour and
the Swift rolled happily south before the building breeze. As we
approached the Sound hands were roused from lessons (much to their
dismay) to set full sail and reach into the sound. By the time the
leeward course was doused and the jibtopsail sheeted home we were
rushing between the battered islets of the sound at 9.5 to 10 knots.
Entering the sound, the burst of speed allowed us to outrun an
aggressive fogbank who was determined to overtake us all afternoon.
There were many smiles and willing and knowledgeable hands as we went
through some maneuvers similar to those at Hesquiat 2 days before.
Everyone enjoyed the long run and the rush of flying into the sound
heeled to the fresh breeze to complete the run south. We are now tucked
at the top of the sound at the mouth of the Toquart River. Its hills are
still densely wooded and interspersed with sharp mountain ridges. It is
interesting to observe the different characteristics of Vancouver
Island´s unique sounds. There are many exciting and creative projects
happening for secret friends.


Observations:
overcast, 16 C, anchored
August 31st 2010 @ 16:30
48°52'37.56 N 125°18'57.60 W

Ship's Log:
Last night we had a fun mug up followed by some time of sharing and
drawing together as a community.  The rain arrived as well last night
has stayed with us in varying degrees of strength since. After breakfast
we shifted anchorage to the outer rim of the sound in the Broken
Islands. We are snugged up in Effingham Bay under tarps for the
remainder of the day. This morning the junior sailors wrote their exams
and have done very well. The intermediates are hard at work preparing
for their test tomorrow, tackling chartwork problems, tides and other
areas of nautical knowledge. A dory adventure was launched to explore
the outer islands of this wild and spectacular archipelago. The mist
hangs heavily amongst gnarled and weathered trees which cling impossibly
to wind ravaged outcrops of rocks. The principal destination was Dicebox
Island, home of some notorious sea caves. It was a great explore with
stalactites, stalagmites, tidal pools but sadly very little treasure.
This evening we will be treated to a gourmet dinner of roast beef,
smashed potatoes, yorkshire puddings, veggies and all the requisite and
sundry fixings. This feast is one way of marking Ship Sunday, later this
evening we will have simple service.


Observations:
gray, rainy, fog, 15 C, anchored, roast beef gently browning,

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